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The Big Game Becons

Come out and cheer for our three TSLL Juniors teams as they take to the field at Tempe Diablo Stadium, spring training home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim!

Wednesday, April 30 at 5:30 p.m. – TGLL Diamondbacks @ TSLL Sting
Wednesday, April 30 at 8:00 p.m. – TSLL Grasshoppers @ CNLL Wolves
Monday, May 5 at 8:00 p.m. – TSLL Sand Gnats @ TSLL Sting
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Field 3 Status

Field 3 will be dry for a while as the sprinkler control broke April 17. The City is working diligently to get it fixed, but it will take some time to complete repairs.

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Time Out For a Chuckle

I don’t know where this one started at, but it was circulated by the District UIC. It’s a great reminder to keep it fun.



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DBacks Keep Giving

Today I received this email from the Diamondbacks. The main thing is that there is a website called My Dugout Where you can win some really cool prizes. They are also looking for volunteers for their 5K Race and 1 Mile Family Fun Walk.

Thanks again for the awesome sponsorship D-Backs!

Hello D-backs Give Back Youth Jersey Program Participants –

We hope your season is going well…we are loving seeing all the kids in their jerseys around the ballpark!

We have launched a website called “My Dugout” that we encourage you to send out to out to your coaches and parents (www.dbacks.com/mydugout). There are tons of awesome prizes including an opportunity to watch D-backs batting practice from the field, tickets, meet-and-greets, equipment and more! The website was listed in the booklet in each player’s backpack and we haven’t had many people register yet!

Secondly, the 2nd Annual D-backs Race Against Cancer is coming up on Saturday, May 3 and we need your help! There are a couple different ways you could help…and please pass the word along to your coaches and parents!

There is a 5K Run or a 1 Mile Family Fun Walk – registration information is available at www.dbacks.com/race. Every participants (walk or run) gets a shirt and a commemorative finish medal. There is a flyer attached with information…if you have a newsletter or other communication source with coaches we’d greatly appreciate any extra promotion!

We are looking for LOTS of volunteers! We’d love to have entire teams of youth baseball and softball players come out (in D-backs uniforms of course!) to help us work the water stations on the race course. For more information or to sign up to volunteer, please e-mail Paulette Purnell (ppurnell@dbacks.com – copied on this e-mail).

Thanks again for your work with us this first season. We look forward to seeing you at the Race and/or at Chase Field!!

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Pitch Hit and Run Alternatives

It was a shame that we were unable to host a Pitch Hit and Run at Tempe South this year. Unfortunately we were unable to attract a volunteer to coordinate this activity and without volunteers, things do not get done.

Perhaps this will motivate someone to help coordinate this effort next year. Having said that, if you are still interested in having your son (or daughter) participate in Pitch Hit & Run, contests are hosted throughout the valley. You can locate another session through the mlb.com.

The link is: MLB Pitch Hit And Run


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8 Ways To Pitch

This is just awesome.
ESPN has posted on their website broken 8 Diamondbacks pitchers.


ESPN: Anatomy of a Pitch

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Junior Umpires – They’re Your Kids Too

Every year, a class of former players graduate to become junior umpires. There are two reasons we employ junior umpires in the league. First, because of their availability it helps us cover all the games with umpires. It is a challenge to get 1 adult umpire for every majors game throughout the 8 week season. The total number of games more than doubles when you add all the minors games. Secondly, junior umpiring is a great way for kids who love baseball to give back and earn some extra money. For many of these kids a junior umpiring gig is the first job they have ever had.

Now having said that, these are still kids. My own son gave me a great perspective on being a junior umpire. He said, “When you are a player and you make a mistake, no one really yells at you. You feel bad, but the coaches are supportive and the other players understand.

“But when you move behind the plate it is completely different. If you make a mistake there, everyone feels entitled to give you an earful.”

I had not thought of it that way. This is not to make excuses for mistakes, but the perspective is a valid one. These players have a job to do. All we ask is that they do their best.

Managers: 26 kids to manage

The reality of little league is that team managers have not only 12 kids on their roster to manage, when they step on the field they are the responsible adults for 26 young boys and girls. 12 players on each team, and two junior umpires. Their job is to coach all the youth under their charge.

Strike Zones

Most parents don’t realize that the junior umpires are taught to employ a large strike zone in Minors. At this age range, real pitching talent is rare. What’s more, the league encourages managers to pitch every player at least once throughout the season. With those two things in mind, as a board we want players to swing at hittable pitches. And why wouldn’t we? Year in and year out, if you ask any little leaguer they will tell you their favorite part of practice is hitting. The only way to hit is to swing the bat. That is what we tell our umpires to do – encourage kids to swing the bat. Hitting is the funnest part of the game!

The proper way to give feedback

Tempe South has an effective feedback mechanism for junior umpires. It starts by team managers communicating with the Junior Umpire Coordinator, who works with the Umpire In Chief. Young umpires are coached, just like players, and difficult situations or calls are dissected, reviewed, and learned from. Overall, umpires that receive higher reviews are asked to ump more, and the very best are asked to ump in the playoffs.

I have never seen a junior umpire improve from parents chirping from behind the fence. However, here’s the real deal. Next year, or the year after that could be your son behind the plate. Show him now how he should expect to be treated by adults when that happens.

Have a great season!

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2014 Juniors Schedule

The 2014 Juniors Schedule has been posted.
2014 Jrs Schedule FINAL

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Opening Day Video

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2104 Schedules are now posted

The 2014 Schedule is now posted for Majors, Minors, Farm AAA, and Farm AA. You will be able to find the schedules under your team page or by going directly to the 2014 Schedule Page.

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